Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 119 December 28, 1939

The Soviet invasion plans assumed the political & military collapse of Finland in 12 days but they have few gains to show after a month of fighting. Only 14th Army in Lapland has achieved its objectives. Stalin pragmatically & ruthlessly abandons Meretskov’s plan & orders a ‘temporary defensive posture’ prior to concerted attacks on the Mannerheim Line. He similarly abandons the elements of the Red Army currently on the border from Lake Lagoda to Lapland. 14th Army & 9th Army (122 Div) held in Lapland, 9th Army (163 & 44 Div) trapped around Suomussalmi and 8th Army held North of Lake Lagoda are left to the mercy of the Finns. There is no plan to reinforce, resupply or evacuate them; retreat or surrender will be punished by death when they return to the Soviet Union.

Outer Hebrides, Scotland. 4 AM, U-30 sinks the British antisubmarine trawler HMS Barbara Robertson (1 dead) and asks Swedish merchant Hispania to pick up survivors. 3.45 PM, U-30 hits the British battleship HMS Barham with one torpedo (4 dead) and is chased off by her escort destroyers HMS Isis and Nubian. HMS Barham limps to dock in Liverpool but is out of action for 6 months for repairs.

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